After the Beltran trade, I read a lot New York Mets blogs because, hey I was at work and had nothing better to do. The one thing that kept popping up on those sites was that the Mets fans all really seemed to love Carlos Beltran and more than a few named him as their favorite player. Well this got me thinking about some of my favorite players, guys like John Bowker, Jason Christiansen, and Robb Nen. Guys who made me fall deep in love with the San Francisco Giants, guys who made me go to my shower still wearing my Bonds jersey after 2002 and jump around like a lunatic, screaming, crying, and feeling complete joy after Wilson struck out Cruz. So this is a post to those guys, some you will know, some you wont. This isn't the all time Giants 25 man roster, this is my 25 man roster-
Starting LF- Barry Bonds: The greatest ball player I've ever seen, I was at 500 and 756. I was spoiled when he was at the plate because it was confusing when he didn't hit a homerun. Also me and my dad used to bow down to him in the left field bleachers and chant, " Were not worthy!" Simply the best.
Starting CF- Andres Torres: At first I hated Torres because I was a big Rowand fan, A-Row had played for the White Sox (my second favorite team and was traded for Jim Thome, my favorite non-Giant of all time) but as I watch Torres play and shake that comically oversized bat, run hard at everything, and wish he'd change his walkup music to the Atreyu song Becoming the Bull because his name sort of sounds like Torro, I've grown to love him. *Bonus points for playing for the 2010 World Series Champions
Starting RF- Ellis Burks: Its strange I can't really remember any Ellis Burks at bat, or moment. However once when I was playing a video game my sister saw his number was 23 and her birthday is May 23rd so he became her favorite player, also he isn't Jose Cruz Jr. Hey its my list.
Starting 3rd Baseman- Pablo Sandoval: He holds a really special place in my heart because he was the first star player my girlfriend ever became aware of. I wish he'd still catch some of the time but at long as he still hits and smiles I'll be ok with him. Also I own a stuffed Panda and went to the Phillies-Giants game where they gave away the Pablo shirts back when you could still get give aways. *Bonus points for playing for the 2010 World Series Champions
Starting SS- Rich Aurilia: There used to be this game called MLB Showdown and in 2002 Rich Aurilia was one of the better cards, I traded my cousin Chipper Jones for him. Also he hit a triple right before Bonds 500th homer, and he had a kick ass goatee, kind of looked like an evil Bond villian. Finally I saw him at fan fest a few years ago. Oh and his last at bat as a Giants was something I'll never forget, he was born in New Y.....
Starting 2nd Baseman- Jeff Kent: No player in my life has been the roller coaster ride for me as a fan as Jeff Kent. He was my favorite all-time Giant. I had his jersey, I had his MVP cap, I copied his batting stance in little league. I tried to grow a mustache, when he went to Houston I convinced myself he was going to play poorly just to help the Giants in some way. However he died when the signed with his last team, his jersey was burned, his memorabilia discarded to the garage. I grew to hate everything I had loved about Kent, until finally he retired and a lot like Schmidt, he scarred the memories but I've forgiven him.
Starting 1st Baseman- J.T. Snow: I'll admit to something, until he left there isn't a Giants team I remember that didn't have number 6 at first base. Snow was my guy, second only to Kent as a kid, second to none now. His smooth swing always seemed to hitting the ball in the gap for a double, his glove could bring everything in. The play I will always remember with Snow is when he slipped on a pop up in foul territory but never broke his concentration and from his ass leapt at the ball and made the catch. Ladies and gentlemen, JT SNOW!
Starting Catcher- Buster Posey: Without him the Giants don't win the World Series, 'nuff said. P.S. His homer against San Diego on the last day and the one on halloween are my two favorite slams of all time, barely over Bonds 756. *Bonus points for playing on the 2010 World Series Champions
CF Andres Torres, SS Rich Aurilia, LF Barry Bonds, 2B Jeff Kent, C Buster Posey, RF Ellis Burks, 3B Pablo Sandoval, 1B J.T. Snow
RF/LF/1B- John Bowker: Interesting note that really only relates to me and a couple of other people, Bowker hit his first career homer on my birthday (its also the same day Bonds hit 660 but this is about JB). Bowker was a guy I had an irrational love for, he was like diet Jim Thome but also a Giant. He once made me look like a genius when I took a date to a Tigers-Giants game and Joel Zumaya came in and I told her that Bowker loves high fastballs and he crushed a go ahead homer. 1/2*
C- Mike Matheny: Iron Mike was the warrior who left everything on the battlefield. The fact that his career was cut short due to injury only makes me love him more. I believe right now if he grabbed his catchers gear he'd be an upgrade on Eli Whiteside.
CF/RF- Dustin Mohr: Who? Yeah, well this is my list so shut up people who just looked to see if Dustin Mohr is related to Jay Mohr. Mohr was acquired from the Twins in the same offseason as the Joe Nathan trade but he was in a different deal, still in my heart he is the only good thing Minnesota did for San Francisco ever. If you never saw Mohr play, think of Aaron Rowand and pretend he makes the minimum. Yeah I miss Dustin Mohr....
SS- Omar Vizquel: Vizquel was really fun to watch when he was playing...wait, what...he's on the White Sox? Really? Anyway he was the maybe the best defensive player I've ever seen and...come on is he really still playing?...Damn..Thanks for the gold gloves Omar and please grab a Miguel Tejada jersey and return to the Bay right now.
LF- Pat Burrell: When Pat the Bat played for the Phillies I went to a game that he hit two homers in, I mocked him and berated him so bad he flipped me off. After that my love for Burrell grew to Thome like levels. However unlike the Jim Thome story, Burrell had a happy ending and hit bat is one of the top five reasons the Giants all got shinny rings. Also he resigned for just one million dollars and I hope when he returns from the DL, Bochy will let him play every once and a while.*
SP- Tim Lincecum: Lincecum's first start was on Sunday night baseball against the Phillies, I had work at McDonalds that night and couldn't get the night off. I quit my job at McDonalds. I have never regretted this choice. Tim Lincecum is very,very,very,very,very,very, best pitcher in baseball good, he won the deciding game of the World Series. FACTS.*
SP-Matt Cain: When Matt Cain made his first start I was camping and bought a cowboy hat at a general store. The reason I bought the hat was that the owner had the game on and wouldn't let me stay and watch unless I bought something. Also Matt Cain will win a Cy Young in his career and is my second favorite Giant. Matt Cain doesn't flush the toilet, he scares the shit out of it/Under the Grim Reapers robes he has on a Matt Cain jersey/ Before Matt Cain glared at the Liberty Bell last season it was in mint condition/Every time a batter steps in against Cain his life and death flash before his eye/ Cain isn't a god amongst men, he's a god amongst gods. His baby girl is also very cute.
SP- Russ Ortiz: Russ Ortiz was the first Giants pitcher I ever saw live and for a month afterword I made my parents, teachers, and friends all call me Russ. The day I got his Showdown card he was traded to Atlanta, after he returned to the Giants he lost his rotation spot to Tim Lincecum. There was a rumor he ended his career the same way Juan Marichal did but Im convinced it was his evil clone trying to ruin his good name.
SP- Noah Lowry: Noah Lowry might be the most tragic Giant I can remember. He was the best pitcher on some horrible teams, kept getting hurt but when he was on I cant think of a pitch I enjoyed more than his change up. Made batters look really stupid. In a couple of years he will probably be bumped off this list by Madison Bumgarner or at the rate he's going Ryan Vogelsong. Career Giant.
SP- Kirk Rueter: Woody was the man and I will go to my grave believing if he starts game 7, the Giants 2010 Championship is their second in San Francisco. He also is the first athlete to ever sign a baseball for me. I think he only struck out 7 guys in his career however if you were given the choice of Jonathan Sanchez, Barry Zito or Kirk Rueter right now to be the Giants fifth starter who would you take?
RP/LR- Jim Brower: He'd make the list just because he wasn't Livan Hernandez but he was also a workhorse who gave his everything to the Giants, never complained and was a 2in guy in Showdown.
RP- Jason Christiansen: I dont know why I liked him so much, maybe it was the chaw of tobacco that was always stuck in the side of his mouth, or his eyes, or the fact that no player seemed more likely to be a transplant from some bygone era.
RP- Jack Taschner: Captain Jack as he was known by me, never really turned into the dominate lefty force in the bullpen I knew he could be but he did save 46 games in MLB 2K10 with Baltimore and in what would be his last fan fest with the Giants promised to swim naked in McCovey Cove if San Francisco won the World Series, we're waiting...
RP- Jeremy Affeldt: Did I mention that I'm left handed? During Murph and Mac's take a cut challenge Affeldt gave me advice on how to hit the ball and I only fouled off two pitches. He also met my girlfriend while he, Gavin Newsom, Tommy Lasorda and Aaron Rowand were bagging at a local Safeway. Is it too much to say we are best friends, perhaps, so I'll just stick with very close friends (best friends).*
RP- Tim Worrell: For a while he filled in for Robb Nen, when he retired the Giants finally gave the job to Brian Wilson, his walkup song was Iron Man, for these things he deserves a spot. Also a pretty darn good pitcher.
CL-Robb Nen: I never thought I could love another closer after Nen. He had a blistering fastball, untouchable slider and was the last thing all teams saw before they were put down like the rabid dogs they were. He gave his right arm for the Giants and will forever be known as a hero. Smoke on the Water. The Nenith Inning. The only thing Nen ever did wrong was crush my soul in 1997.
CL- Brian Wilson: I can never love a closer again after Wilson. FEAR THE BEARD. Wilson is without a doubt my favorite Giant and my love for him grows everyday. The wackyness, the awesomeness, the Wilsonness, oh did I mention FEAR THE BEARD. Wilson is San Francisco Giants baseball, think for one moment about the 2010 World Series, its Wilson on the mound an inside fastball swung on and missed by Nelson Cruz and Buster Posey jumping.*
So thats my 25 Man Giants roster, probably not the same as yours, but thank you for reading. I hope you enjoyed, I know its means a lot more to me than it could to anyone else but if it helped you think of old Giants memories you had stored up in your black and orange covered skull then I did my job; GOT HEEM!
*Any player with this after his name was part of the 2010 World Series Champions. :-)